Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Surviving Lonely, Series 2

Oh Bummer: Hope And Cope

Obama ran and won under a promise of “Change”, but behind that single word is the idea of hope. Hope was the foundation on which Obama and his machinery built his campaign and which propelled him into the most powerful office in the world. One would think that hope is a value that people will embrace with no questions asked. In matters of politics, hope is a powerful ally and tool. But in the matters of the heart, hope can be a dangerous thing.

Hope can give you a reason to wake up in the morning. Hope can lighten your step with an extra skip. Hope can plaster a silly, blissful smile on your face that will last the whole day, despite you missing a deadline, losing your wallet and accidentally staining your favorite shirt. Hope can make you emotionally invulnerable.

But if the object of your affection cannot/will not/chose not to reciprocate, then you’re fucked. If the object of your affection is in that gray area of not-sure-if-he’s-reciprocating-or-just-being-polite, then you may find yourself just steps away from Heartbreak Hell.

However, here’s the rub: how to tell the difference between the two. Usually it occurs early in the game, when the two of you can’t tell if something is happening between the two of you, or it’s just wishful thinking on your part. So what to do in that case?

Most people will decide to grab on to any and every available clue they can get from the other person: Does he return my text messages ASAP? Does he always end his SMS’s with a smiley? Does he look for you instead of the other way around? Did he just call you “Googlie-Pooh”?

Instead of relying on circumstantial clues, others go the direct route—they ask. Lately I’ve been doing this a lot. But my experience with the direct approach has not been a happy one—all of the ones I asked turned me down. In the law of averages, that’s abysmal. Which got me thinking: interrogation may work during cross-examination, but romantic prospects are not very good witnesses to put on the stand. They tend to freeze, get spooked, or (and I suspect this happened in all my cases) tell the harsh truth. Ouch. Quite necessary, but still it’s a painful shot through the heart and no one’s to blame.

A variation of the direct approach is to ask other people surrounding your object of affection. Close friends and colleagues can be a source of inside information that can help you assess where you stand in his life. Unfortunately this approach is iffy since most of the time these people are also strangers to you.

Hope can make you do crazy things. Hope can also waste your time. That’s why I’d rather just dash the hope as early as possible; afterwards, I cope. And after years of training, I’ve found coping a whole lot easier than hoping.

Of course you could always say that “coping” is actually just “copping out” and you won’t hear an argument from me.

1 comment:

R said...

"Close friends and colleagues can be a source of inside information that can help you assess where you stand in his life. Unfortunately this approach is iffy since most of the time these people are also strangers to you."

In my case, I get to talk to them but their loyalty's with him. Fishing for info is futile with them. In the end, my pride is scratched and I end up looking desperate.